Spicy success on the horizon as business looks to expand
SOME big ideas are simmering away for one Northern Rivers business that's looking to massively expand.
Chile Banditos and Spice Pirate BBQ owner Aaron Hargreaves said plans were in the works to place some of his most popular condiments into larger-scale production.
Mr Hargreaves said the products, many of them focused on spicy and barbecue flavours, were currently being manufactured in Clovass and Lismore.
But pooling resources with a friend will see a huge production boost for their top sellers, he said.
He said this production, which will be outside of the region, was expected to begin in the new year.
"We're hoping that it's...going to be up and running by February," he said.
While the dry conditions have meant the past growing season has been difficult in terms of chilli supplies, Mr Hargreaves said he hoped this would change in time for their big expansion.
"Even though we haven't had such a good year this year, we've got three growers on board with us now to be able to get all our varieties," he said.
He said their expanded production would start with the most popular sauces - the El Gringo and Chipotle - before including the Louisiana.
But he said their other products would remain available at the Spice Pirate BBQ catering service's Northern Rivers events.
He said they hoped to be producing 10,000 bottles each of six sauces in the next year under the expanded production scheme.
"We're looking at doing about four times as much as we're doing at the moment," he said.
While growing his spicy business venture is exciting, Mr Hargreaves said this was made all the more sweet by his enduring passion for chilli.
"I get up every day and all I do is chilli and barbecue and I never get sick of it," he said.
"When we first started making sauce, I was just doing it as a bit of a hobby for myself and just got some really good feedback.
"Everyone seemed to like our products."
Four years on, Mr Hargreaves said the community's support for the Chile Banditos products and the Spice Pirate BBQ catering service had meant a lot.
"We're just really thankful to be able to live in a community that's been so supportive of us over the last four years," he said.